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General COVID-19 Information

Please listen to our podcast on COVID-19 and our response.  

LISTEN HERE

 
Q:  Is there a diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 antigen test for a laboratory with a CLIA waived certificate?

A:  Yes, on May 8, 2020 the FDA gave the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the Quidel Corporation for their Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA.  The EUA was granted for point-of-care which automatically makes it acceptable for a CLIA waived laboratory.  This test requires the use of Quidel’s Sofia 2 device or other approved devices and can produce results in 15 minutes.  One caveat with this procedure is that negative results should be treated as presumptive and confirmed with a molecular assay.  Read more about the FDA authorization.   See the package insert for instructions and limitations.

Q:  Are there checklist items I should consider on how to prepare my office for COVID-19?

A:  This checklist from MGMA will help practices operationalize the flow of patient care and attend to employee safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q:  The following letter from CMS covers many details of COVID-19 business and patient care areas and provides numerous links to informational documents.

CMS Dear Clinician Letter

Q:  Should I stop performing non-emergent and elective surgeries in my practice?  

A:  This CMS document provides recommendations to limit those medical services that could be deferred, such as non-emergent, elective treatment and preventive medical services for patients of all ages.  Be aware that some states and municpalities have enacted executive orders with stricter guidelines and definitions of non-essential medical services.  If you have questions, check with your state or loacal government websites and/or Board of Medical Examiners.

Please see the section on Re-opening/Re-starting for further information.

Q:  Do you have sample letters for how we should direct our patients?

A:  We have developed two sample letters for use in directing your patients on how you are handling the Coronavirus situation. These are templates which must be customized to your situation. We advise all practices to review your policies and educate your staff as you consider system changes. 

 
Q:  Where can I send patients and staff for COVID-19 testing?

A:  COVID-19 Testing Directory

Q:  Where can I find MGMA-specific COVID-19 information?

A:  MGMA COVID-19 Action Center

Q:  Where is the CDC Information for Healthcare Professionals?

A:  CDC Coronavirus 2019 Healthcare Professionals Index

Q:  As a physician, can I provide care in states where I don't hold a license?

A:  These regulations have been considerably loosened during the Public Health Emergency, but we recommend you check your state's individual situation.

Q:  Do I still have to report my QPP data on time?

A: CMS has extended the MIPS data submission deadline to April 30, 2020, 8 p.m. ET.

If you are a MIPS eligible clinician and do not submit any MIPS data by April 30, 2020, you won’t need to take any additional action to qualify for the automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy. You will be automatically identified and will receive a neutral payment adjustment for the 2021 MIPS payment year.

CMS is reopening the “MIPS extreme and uncontrollable circumstances” application for Individual clinicians and groups who have started, but are unable to complete, their data submission.  An application citing COVID-19 may be submitted between April 3 and April 30, 2020 and will override any previous data submission.

Any provider can use the MIPS Participation Lookup Tool to see if they are automatically exempt under the COVID-19 Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exemption using the following link: https://qpp.cms.gov/participation-lookup.  The provider should enter their NPI, select 2019, then click on the + button to expand the category.  Scroll down to Clinician Level and look under the Hardship Exception.  If there is a Yes, then the provider will receive the automatic exemption.

MIPS Hardship Exception

For more information, please see the Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response Fact Sheet.

Q:  Where can I find the Medicare Quality Program details?

A:  QPP Program Details

Q:  What is OIG doing about Coronavirus?

A:  With the rapid emergence of waivers and relaxing of laws related to the Coronavirus epidemic, there are scammers already trying to take advantage of the situations.  This site keeps Compliance Officers up-to-date on the OIG's guidance's and FAQs.

Q:  What information is available concerning my state's Medicaid services?

A:  Section 1135 Medicaid Waivers, at least 23 states have approved waivers.  The list at this site gives State specific information.

Q:  Can I see a Medicaid patient if my practice is not licensed to see Medicaid patients?

A:  Each state has different rules surrounding this.  Find the information for your state here.

Q:  I need more information about the CARES Act passed by Congress on March 27, 2020.
  • This document from MGMA provides the key provisions affecting medical groups in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act.
  • This document from the AMA provides high level guidance for practice owners and administrators as their practice are confronting new and unique operational and business challenges as they manage patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration has provided this site with comprehensive information for small business owners.  There is a line to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) application for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.  This link will assist physicians in determining their entities eligibility for such a loan.
  • The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. This site provides information on the process and a link to the application. 
Q:  Is there a comprehensive list of CMS flexibilities to fight COVID-19?

A:  This document provides a comprehensive list of and links to the flexibilities that CMS has implemented to fight COVID-19.  This includes Telehealth services, Workforce issues and Stark Law waivers.

 

COVID-19: Where are We Now

Recorded Webinar: TMGMA 4/15/2020 Webinar Recording and Presentation Materials

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, medical practices have been on the front lines of the crisis. Some groups are overwhelmed caring for patients. Others are reducing hours and staff. Keeping up with the regulatory exceptions, legislation and executive orders is a full-time job not to mention the overwhelming number of emails and webinars. If you are looking for a summary of information in one place, this is the webinar for you. Presented by the Medical Practice Services Department of SVMIC, these industry experts present a summary of the key areas impacted by COVID-19. They also address the FAQs they have heard from their physicians.

 

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